Written by: Steve Umstead
Narrated by: Ray Chase
Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
Series: Evan Gabriel, Book 1
Publisher: Podium Publishing
Genre: Sci Fi Contemporary, Military
My Rating 4.0 of 5.0
"A cast of interesting and believable characters and a plot that kept me listening…I enjoyed the author's take on technology and the political landscape of the future. Definitely recommended!" (Michael R. Hicks, bestselling author of the In Her Name science-fiction/adventure series and the bestselling thriller Season of the Harvest).
North American Federation Navy Commander Evan Gabriel was dishonorably discharged after a disastrous mission on a far off world called Eden. He's spent the last five years hiding from his past, from those responsible for the failed mission, from those responsible for running him out of the Navy, and from those originally responsible for making him into who he was - a highly-trained, physically and mentally augmented Special Forces soldier.
Two mysterious visitors appear unannounced at the door of a Gabriel's seedy hotel room in the slums of Jamaica. His past has finally caught up with him. From the decaying Caribbean to politically charged South America, from the back alleys of Mars to a tiny colony on a planet 600 light years from Earth, Gabriel's Redemption is a near-future military science-fiction story of a personal journey seen from the perspective of a soldier who has lost everything - one who desperately needs to redeem himself not only in his government's eyes, but also his own. Interstellar action and political intrigue mix with one-on-one battles on the surface of a frozen planet in Book One of the science fiction-adventure trilogy.
©2011 Steve Umstead (P)2013 Podium Publishing
Gabriel is out of the service having been discharged for a failed mission. He believes he is living under the radar until two men arrive at his door to tell him he is being called back into service by the very commander whom he believed betrayed his team. Gabriel is offered a chance to redeem his career standing if he will agree to lead a unique unit to a mostly forgotten colony planet. He is shown evidence that the colonists are taking chemicals from living indigenous creatures of the planet. The chemical is then being shipped out as a drug that is causing havoc among civilized worlds, including military troops.
Gabriel meets his team a only a few hours before they ship out. They may be an elite group but he isn’t sure he can truly trust them all. The intel they are given tells them there are not many colonists and they have minimal weaponry. Also they should have the advantage of surprise coming in with steal and sending the most up to date probes to line the entry path.
But things are not as they appear. Another, more ruthless, mercenary team of criminal hiding on Mars, has been equipped to go in behind Gabriel’s team as a “clean up” crew. These men have an inside connection that is going to mean major trouble for Gabriel’s team.
Meanwhile a corrupt leader is conspiring with South American political rebels in a plot to overthrow current leaders. These pieces tie together if only Gabriel can survive and return to earth to reveal the proof of the conspiracy.
Events unfold at five different locations and with five different sets of characters which makes for a bit of confusion. However, if you persevere through the angles, there is great action and intrigue. I enjoyed getting to meet several team mates and hope that they might appear again. At least one important contact does remain on board for the next book. I recommend this series to readers who enjoy strong intrigue and military action.
Audio Notes: I soon re-acclimated to the voice of Ray Chase and became absorbed in the action. I am enjoying this series in audio format.
I owned the Kindle version so I was able to get the Audible at a reduced price in May with part of a $10.00 credit. :-). It adds to my Audio Challenge.